Bartholin cyst/ abscess treatment

What are Bartholin glands?

Bartholin glands are two small glands located at each side of the vaginal opening. They provide vulvar and vaginal lubrication. Sometimes ducts clog up and secretions collect within the gland which then cause cysts to develop, which are often non painful. However, infection within the cyst may cause painful abscess.

There are three options of treatment of Bartholin cyst or abscess:

  • Marsupialisation of cyst
    A cut is made in the skin over cyst or abscess and the contents is drained. The edges of cyst are then stitched to the skin to allow continuous drainage of the gland
  • Excision of Bartholin gland/cyst
    The whole gland is excised (surgically removed)
  • Balloon catheter insertion
    A small cut is made into the cyst or abscess, then a small draining tube is inserted inside and secured in place for 4 weeks while a permanent drainage opening is formed

What are risks of procedure?

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Recurrence
  • Infection requiring antibiotics
  • Bleeding
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Anaesthetic risks: lung infection, heart attack, stroke, blood clots

Do you need an appointment?

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